The Good It's huge.
The Bad An expensive upgrade for the average consumer.
The Bottom Line If you require massive amounts of storage, this drive is a good choice.
Maxtor DiamondMax 80 (80GB
With a formatted capacity of slightly more than 80GB, Maxtor's DiamondMax 80 is one of the largest consumer hard drives you can buy. And while $3.75 per gigabyte may sound affordable, 80 of them add up to $300, a price high enough to deter spendthrifts. But if your budget has some give and you're a real storage hog, then the Maxtor DiamondMax 80 has your name on it.With a formatted capacity of slightly more than 80GB, Maxtor's DiamondMax 80 is one of the largest consumer hard drives you can buy. And while $3.75 per gigabyte may sound affordable, 80 of them add up to $300, a price high enough to deter spendthrifts. But if your budget has some give and you're a real storage hog, then the Maxtor DiamondMax 80 has your name on it.
Maxtor's DiamondMax 80 crams 80GB of storage space onto four platters, and although the drive spins at 5,400rpm--slower than the 7,200rpm of many smaller drives--it offers comparable performance. That's because the Maxtor's high areal density (the data capacity per platter) means the drive heads don't have to move as far to access data. But what goes around comes around. In CNET Labs' tests, the DiamondMax 80 was 15 percent to 17 percent slower than the 60GB Western Digital Caviar WD600AB, which has a smaller capacity but an even higher areal density. Still, the DiamondMax is fast enough for running most consumer and business applications, as well as recording and playing back digital audio and video.
Installing this internal drive isn't for upgrade newbies, but Maxtor provides clear directions, cables, mounting screws, rails for a 5.25-inch drive bay, and an illustrated foldout. Installing the DiamondMax isn't hard, nor is using the utilities to format and configure the drive, but the guide and the directions clearly aren't written with novices in mind and could confuse inexperienced users. Maxtor's Web site has more complete, detailed information and support, including contact info, PDF files, FAQs, and a searchable knowledgebase. But if you need a how-to on drive installation, check out Help.com's hard drive upgrade feature.
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